Posted in great sites for students, homework time, parents and technology

The Library of Congress Website: Go Exploring with Primary Sources – Bookmark-It

The United States Library of Congress started with Thomas Jefferson’s personal library – 6,487 books. Now it’s an enormous collection of information on almost any topic a person wants to study. The library’s history page notes that “… it has become the largest repository of recorded knowledge  in the world and a symbol of the vital connection between knowledge and democracy.”

The resourceful staff at the Library have a finger on the cultural pulse of the country, so not only do the collections include books, papers, music, film, historical documents, and images, but now the library is digitizing its collection. As of February 2009 there were 15.3 million digitized items and anyone can access and download this information to a computer. According to the Library of Congress blog (subscribers welcomed), if all of those digitized items could be saved to CD-ROM disks, the pile would be a mile high, and that was more than a year ago.

The Library of Congress website is just the right place to get started with research for a class project or homework assignment. Start by going the section for kids and families, with features that are mostly, but not exclusively, useful to elementary and middle school students. Some of the searchable features in this section include: Continue reading “The Library of Congress Website: Go Exploring with Primary Sources – Bookmark-It”

Posted in great sites for students, parents and technology

Kids Explore the U.S. Government – Bookmark It!

When children ask questions about the United States Government, two sites provide online access to kid-friendly explanations, data, and legal responsibilities at a range of government agencies. Each site has advantages and disadvantages, but the two sites combined offer young students access to all sorts information, written expressly for kids. Continue reading “Kids Explore the U.S. Government – Bookmark It!”

Posted in digital parenting, good books to read, homework time, learning and the brain, parents and technology

Multi-tasking is a Myth, Researcher John Medina Maintains

Many of us may need to rearrange the way we work, reconsider our understanding of multi-tasking, and rethink how we supervise our children during homework time. According to Professor John Medina, the brain cannot multitask efficiently.

Dr. Medina, a respected molecular biologist who teaches at the University of Washington, published Brain Rules in 2008, and his book spent many weeks on the New York Times best seller list. In this entertaining read he discusses 12 important brain rules with one chapter devoted to multitasking. Addressing the widely accepted view that in the digital age we all multi-task effectively, Dr. Medina explains why the brain has trouble with multi-tasking and why this practice can cause trouble for learners, workers, and especially for pre-teens and adolescents. Many entertaining video explanations of the 12 brain rules are posted at his website. Continue reading “Multi-tasking is a Myth, Researcher John Medina Maintains”